Clashes between demonstrators and security forces in Senegal over the postponement of elections Election news

Parliament voted to postpone the elections until December after President Macky Sall announced their postponement last week.

Security forces in Senegal clashed with hundreds of anti-election demonstrators delay For the presidential elections that were scheduled to be held on February 25.

In Dakar, police fired tear gas into crowds and prevented people from meeting and gathering to protest, Al Jazeera’s Nicolas Haque reported in the capital on Friday.

He said: “There were continuous battles between the demonstrators, the police and the security forces. Most of the protesters are young, many as young as 18 years old. They were barely 12 years old when President Macky Sall took power. “They want to have a say in this election,” Haq said.

Less than three weeks before the elections were scheduled to take place, Parliament voted in favour Roll it back to December 15thHe supported Sall’s previous announcement of postponement and sealed the extension of his term.

But the move has raised concerns that one of the remaining intact democracies in coup-hit West Africa is under threat.

Reuters news agency reported that some demonstrators in the capital on Friday waved Senegalese flags, while others chanted slogans such as “Macky Sall is a dictator.”

At Blaise Diagne Secondary School in Dakar, hundreds of students left classes mid-morning after teachers responded to the call to protest. History and geography teacher Asane Seni said this was just the beginning of the battle.

“If the government is stubborn, we will have to try different approaches,” he told AFP.

Senegal
A demonstrator throws a stone during clashes with police in Dakar (Guy Peterson/AFP)

Sall, who has reached his constitutional two-term limit, said he delayed the election due to a dispute over the constitution List of candidates This threatens the credibility of the electoral process.

The decision sparked widespread anger on social media, and the opposition condemned it, describing it as a “constitutional coup.”

Some critics also accuse Sall of trying to cling to power, while the West African bloc and foreign powers have criticized the move as a departure from Senegal’s democratic traditions.

“quiet souls”

Senegalese Justice Minister Aissata Tal Sall said: “Senegal has probably never experienced a crisis like the one we are witnessing now, and we must overcome it.” “We must calm the spirits.”

Tal Sal said in an interview that the postponement was not the president’s decision, but rather Parliament’s decision “This was done in full accordance with the Constitution.”

Following the parliamentary vote, 39 lawmakers in the opposition coalition, U Ascan Wai, and several opposition presidential candidates filed legal challenges against the delay with the Constitutional Court.

Tal Sal said that the appeals do not fall within the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court. But she said that the fact that opponents resorted to the courts means “we are in a functioning democracy.”

But she acknowledged that the postponement had placed Senegal in a state of unprecedented uncertainty.

This is the first time that presidential elections have been postponed since Senegal’s independence from France in 1960.

In a statement issued on Friday, European Union foreign policy chief Joseph Borrell expressed concern about the situation in Senegal, urging the nation to “preserve democracy.”

“Fundamental freedoms, especially those related to peaceful demonstration and public self-expression, are fundamental principles of the rule of law that the Senegalese authorities must guarantee,” Borrell said, calling on the authorities to organize elections “as quickly as possible.”

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